Wind Chimes: 18 Oct 2012

But if I go East—He is not there;
West—I still do not perceive Him;
North—since He is concealed, I do not behold Him;
South—He is hidden, and I cannot see Him. —Job 23:8-9

Through the rest of this week we’ll wonder, with Job, where is God? Where is God in the midst of enormous challenges facing his creation and his ‘children’ throughout creation—even those we consider our ‘enemies’? And where is God in the challenges we face? ~dan

Listen to the wind in the chimes for a while. What do you hear?

Prayer words from the Psalms …

The psalmists know how to plead, lament, complain, express anger AND how to move from those places to places of trust. We used this Psalm in our midweek worship at St. Margaret’s on 10/17/12:

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, * because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.
2 The cords of death entangled me; the grip of the grave took hold of me; * I came to grief and sorrow.
3 Then I called upon the Name of the Lord: * “O Lord, I pray you, save my life.”
4 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; * our God is full of compassion.
5 The Lord watches over the innocent; * I was brought very low, and he helped me.
6 Turn again to your rest, O my soul, * for the Lord has treated you well.
7 For you have rescued my life from death, * my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
8 I will walk in the presence of the Lord * in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:1-8 on p. 759 of The Book of Common Prayer

Prayer words from the Prayer Book

Every Wednesday, after the Eucharist at St. Margaret’s, a group of us meet for a “Spiritual Day Hike.” We (figuratively) hike along trails up to peaks and vistas, through passes wending our way down the hillside into the valleys below, and sometimes we walk along streams in the meadows. The trails are left by our ancestors in the faith: in the Bible, in prayers, in writings, in hymns and songs, and so on. Currently we are exploring the expansive ‘Meadow of the Collects’ (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 211-261). Jean, one of our hikers, shared a prayer she uses daily as she seeks God in the midst of chronic pain and discomfort:

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

A prayer “In the Morning” on p. 461 of The Book of Common Prayer

An “Arrow Prayer” (when darkness overwhelms) from the Psalms

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. –Psalm 43:3

“Arrow Prayer” is a term used to describe a prayer which is offered quickly in the moment. Prayers of thanksgiving often come in the form of arrow prayers. Arrow prayers are also helpful in times of distress. “Help me, God!” “Holy one, watch over me.” “Walk with me Jesus, for I am afraid.” These arrow prayers are also prayers of praise and thanksgiving for they recognize God’s on-going presence in daily life.

From a paper written by Jane E. Vennard: Exploring a Life of Prayer

Ever heard someone talk about “lectio”? Want to know more?

Lectio Divina is Latin for spiritual or sacred reading. It is a simple method of praying the scripture that has deep roots in the Benedictine tradition. —Monasteries of the Heart

If you have ever heard someone say they were doing, practicing, or simply “in” lectio it was their way of saying they were reading sacred texts in a prayerful way. I have also heard it used (and use “lectio” myself) to mean prayerful reading of non-biblical texts meant to excite, enlarge, expand, or even quiet, the spirit.

Today, in the time I set aside for lectio I found this post. Like the author, Lowell Graham, I have found the practice of lectio has opened “a rich, luminous connection with the sacred text” and, I would add, even texts like his.

Whenever I read the story of Bartimaeus, something settles deep inside of me. This was the story that I first used when I was taught how to pray the scriptures using the ancient Benedictine method of Lectio Divina. The story has never been the same. From that brief time of prayer has come a rich, luminous connection with the sacred text.

He goes on to share the method of Lectio Divina that he—and so many others—use. I encourage you to read his short post: Lectio with Bartimaeus. Please note his counsel:

[The method I describe] is not intended as a four-step linear process, but rather as a movement between states of consciousness. Let your practice move naturally back and forth through these moments.

I also encourage you to investigate Monasteries of the Heart and their introduction and invitation to Lectio Divina.

Finally, I encourage you to try to make lectio part of your daily routine. Share your questions or comments here. Start a conversation about lectio, find encouragement for making this part of your daily routine, or find affirmation for something you have been doing for a long time without knowing it had a name and a rich history.

Pray-as-you-go . . . try it . . . like it . . . make it a habit

Have you ever decided to do better at praying daily? Or, pointing the finger at myself, how many times have you determined to pray better, pray more frequently, pray daily, pray always? David Burgdorf recently shared a prayer resource with me that I now share with you. From their website:

Pray-as-you-go is a daily prayer session, designed for use on portable MP3 players, to help you pray whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.

GO TO: Pray-as-you-go . . . daily prayer for your MP3 player.

I encourage you to give it a try. I have found it a beautiful way to slow down, breathe, rest in God, pray. I use the iTunes podcast (accessible through the website).

Be sure to come back and post a comment about your experience with Pray-as-you-go. Come back and share prayer resources you have found and use. Let’s keep the conversation going. Let’s pray up a holy storm!

The Apostles’ Creed

Listen to the Apostles’ Creed sung by a choir of Tongan youth in the Uniting Church Sydney Australia.

What is the Apostles’ Creed?

The Apostles’ Creed is the ancient creed of Baptism, it is used in the Church’s daily worship to recall our Baptismal Covenant.

An Outline of the Faith: The Book of Common Prayer, p. 852

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

For further reading and reflection

The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. It has been called the Creed of Creeds.
Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ’s ascension into heaven. That is not the case, though the name stuck. However, each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 215). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542).
The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Hence it is also known as The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that they believed each statement.

Source: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/apostles.htm

Note: the link will take you to a page devoted to the Apostles’ Creed including additional links to the text of the creed in Latin and Greek, historical notes and much more